Green Pool Water. It's Blue But Still Coudy

by Carolyn
(Martinsville, VA)

We are getting a late start opening our pool this year because we were out of town for a while. When we began the pool was green and cloudy. We went to the pool store and asked what we needed to do. We do not know a lot about pools so have to depend on them for the answers.

That is until I found your wonderful site. They sold us some shocker, told us to put that in the pool and bring them back a sample the next day. We shocked the pool and the next morning it was blue again but still cloudy. We took our sample by and these are the readings they gave us.

Free Chlorine - 0.17 Low

Total Chlorine - 0.36 Low

Combined Chlorine - 0.19 OK

Total Alkalinity - 70- Low

pH level - 8.5 - High

Calcium Hardness - 60 - Low

Cyanuric Acid - 14 - Low

Copper - 0 - OK

Iron - 0 - OK

Total dissolved Solids - 0 - OK

Saturated Index - 0 - OK

These are the instructions they gave us:

1. Add 2lb ph decreaser and run pump 6 hours

2. Add 2 lb ph decreaser and run 6 hours

3. Next night add another bag of refresh shock and run 12 hours

4. Pour 6 oz filter magic into skimmer while on backwash

5. Add 3oz turboblue clarifier

5. Add 7lb Calcium every 8 hours x3 times (total 21 lbs)

We have an above ground pool 24ft round by 52 in deep. Sand filter. The company that we bought it from told us to use Clorox and that is what we used last year and it did fine. But the people at the pool store were actually horrified at that. They told us not to use the bleach. That is what made me begin to question them. Isn't bleach just basically diluted chlorine?

I tested the pool again this morning and I only have the strips they sold me to check it with, and these are the readings:

pH - not quite at the 7.2 color but very close.

FC - also not quite at the 0.5 color but very close.

Alkalinity - again not quite at the 80 color but close.

Stabilizer - remained on the 0 color.

I know my readings sound like a kindergartners compared to your expertise, and that is what I feel like when it comes to this. It looks like I have written a book here, but my only hope is that I have given you enough of the information that you need. This is a fantastic site you have and you are so very generous to help those of us with no experience in this.

We live on a fixed income and have no extra money to spare, so I can't afford for them to sell me something I don't need.

Thanks for the question Carolyn

And glad to hear from someone from my home state. Been to many races in Martinsville and I saw Rusty win a few times. And Earnhardt.

Thanks for the chemical readings because it makes the process go faster. You need to have a good test kit. The Taylor FAS-DPD K-2006 is it and will give you the best readings.

Pool Water Testing

Water Testing Kit

First you need to get the chlorine and CYA up. The best
way to do that is with Dichlor. This is a stabilized form of chlorine. Be careful when using Dichlor as it can get out of hand quickly. For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Dichlor, you'll raise the CYA by 9ppm.

You'll need to add the Dichlor in the evening, then test in the morning, both chlorine and CYA. Your taget CYA os between 30 - 50ppm. Make another adjustment with Dichlor until you reach this level. After it's been reached, stop using Dichlor and shock with regular liquid chlorine, or bleach. You say the "pool guys" at the store were "horrified" at this. Give them these two links:

One is to the Clorox ingredients page and the other is the MSDS page to liquid chlorine. Show them this. Then ask them what's the difference. I'll wait for your reply.

You always want a full turnover of the water before making another adjustment. This is normally about 8 hours and why you try to make adjustments in the evening. Make this adjustment in the evening, retest in the morning, and make another adjustment if needed.

Remember to take it slow because it's easier to put chemicals in but much harder to get them out. Your pH is fine. It will come up naturally through splashing around. Try to get it into the range of 7.6 - 7.8ppm. This is ideal. Once the alkalinity is locked in between 80 - 100pm, everything else will be in line as well.

Pool Alkalinity

Total Alkalinity

You can raise the alkalinity with baking soda from the grocery store. Don't buy a pound of "pH Increaser" for $20. Buy a pound of baking soda for $2 from Winn Dixie. Pump needs to be off when raising the alkalinity. The above charts have the info. you need.

Back to the chlorine. You'll need to keep the chlorine level up above 12ppm while you have algae. The chlorine will consume the algae quickly so keeping the level up is important.
Manually dose your pool and test in the evening and morning. Get a tab floater and fill it with Trichlor tabs. This will give you chlorine and CYA throughout the week. For every 10ppm of chlorine added with Trichlor tabs you'll raise the CYA by 6ppm.

Be sure you scoop and keep as much foreign debris out of the pool as possible. You want all the chlorine to go to the algae. Please lay off the "magic clarifiers" and the "magic stuff" and the "magic things" and the "this bottle will cure everything". More times than not, it won't.

Continuous high levels of chlorine (over 12ppm), testing, sweeping, vacuuming, filtering and back washing will turn your pool back to crystal clear perfection. Back wash once a day. Keep your water level up between 1/3 - 1/2 up from the skimmer. You'll be losing water through back washing.

Here are some posts to look over:

Do You Really Need All These Chemicals For A Pool Or Are They Just Trying To Get Your Money?

Total Chlorine & Phosphate Problems...What Should I Do?

If you have a vinyl liner your calcium level is not that important. This is only for plaster pools. If it test for around 150ppm, stop using it. Hope this helps and let me know how it turns out. Anything else, let me know.

Have a fun and safe swimming season.


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